Mike Talks About...
Creating a Modern Entry Bench that Mixes Old and New Materials.
"You could dance on this surface--that's how strong it is" says Mike, and he ought to know. This compact solid wood bench/table is a piece he re-crafted himself. It started as the teak companion cabinet made to sit atop a mid-century credenza (they were long ago separated); it was not functional on its own, and in fact, it was broken. What it became is a beautiful piece of modern furniture, a mix of old and new, and a great opportunity to celebrate the beauty and strength of angles.
First, Mike trimmed what had been extended sides that sat on that missing credenza. With that done, he had an elegant rectangular box made--unusually--of solid teak instead of the more prevalent teak veneer on a substrate.
Next, he designed and built new legs out of solid oak. Though the lines of the legs are clean, they are not simple. Often, the classic splayed-legs silhouette of the mid-century era was achieved by taking standard straight legs and affixing each with an angled disk of metal underneath. Here, Mike made the legs to be angled before attaching them--so the splayed angle you see is intrinsic to the legs themselves, not created with hardware. That gives added strength to the piece.
To make the design more interesting, Mike cut the inside lines of the legs at a slightly sharper angle than the front--a subtle variation that heightens the dynamic visual impact of the splayed legs.
The thoughtful use of 3-dimentional angels continues with the custom drawer pulls, made from the same oak. They are connected to the cabinet with metal cylinders, a subtle yet intriguing design element.
To create visual contrast, Mike ebonized the new handles and legs using a multi-stage process he has perfected--a hand-applied urethane that he then meticulously rubs out for a rich color and silky sheen. He restored the teak with a complete re-oiling to bring out the beauty and enhance the durability of the vintage wood.
The result is a beautiful and strong piece combining old and new elements, many angles, and lots of attention to detail.
This piece is currently for sale.
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